Posted 27 February 2003 - 03:43 PM
Posted 27 February 2003 - 06:04 PM
Aviation Historian, Royal Air Force Museum
Posted 27 February 2003 - 07:29 PM
This Kamikaze weapon carried a 2,646 lb ( 1,200 kg ) warhead and one pilot. Flown to within 55 miles (88 km) of the target area under the wing of a twin engine Betty bomber the Ohka was released and then glided at 229 mph ( 369 km/h. ) When 30 seconds away the rockets were ignited quickly accelerating the flying to 576 miles per hour ( 927 km/h. ) Diving into the target higher speeds were often reached. Of some 800 constructed only 50 saw action resulting in just three ships sunk. This weapon was first used operationally on March 21, 1945.
History: The brainchild of an Imperial Japanese Navy officer, the MXY-7 Ohka (Cherry Blossom) specialised suicide attack aircraft was conceived as the simplest possible platform for what was in effect a piloted bomb to be launched from a parent aircraft. After an initial glide, the pilot would turn on his Ohka's rocket or turbo-jet motors and fly the aircraft into its target. The futility of the whole Kamikaze philosophy was summed up by the US Navy personnel who were on the receiving end, dubbing the aircraft 'Baka', Japanese for 'idiot'.
The first operational mission was flown on 21 March 1945 when 16 Ohkas carried by Mitsubishi G4M 'Betty' bombers were intercepted by USN Hellcats, forcing their premature release. All the Ohkas crashed into the sea and the Bettys were shot down. There were some successes: on 1 April 1945 the US battleship West Virginia and three transport ships were damaged and the first sinking (the destroyer USS Mannert L Abele) occurred on 12 April off Okinawa. The lumbering G4M parent aircraft was always a problem and plans to develop a special version of the Yokosuka PlY Ginga for this role came to nought. Other Ohka variants to achieve limited producbon were the turbo-jet powered Model 22 with reduced payload and the Model K-1 unpowered trainer with water ballast in the nose. A pair of two seat Model 43 K-1 KA] trainers with a second cockpit in the nose was also built, powered by a 573 1b (2.6kN) thrust rocket.
There are other planes used as kamikaze but maybe others know about these.
Month / Number of Kamikaze Sorties
October 44 55
November 44/ 143
December 44/ 232
January 45 / 230
February 45/ 196
March 45/ 37
April 45 / 1162
May 45 / 596
June 45/ 210
July 45/ 20
August 45/ 59
Posted 01 March 2003 - 04:30 AM
"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun
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